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Be Great on Paper and Land an Interview at Your Dream Company.
A strong presence on paper can translate into a first step in the door at your new employer.
There are a thousand resume templates out there – ensure you personalize yours so you don’t look like other candidates. Use these 6 steps to take a fresh stab at your resume. Use your resume to help you land that interview where you can demonstrate you are the perfect fit.
6 Tips for Effective Resume Writing:
1. Personalize Your Resume for Each Job
Resumes are about story telling. You need to help the employer connect the dots on how you are the right fit to join their team. Connecting how your previous work demonstrates behaviours and achievements required in the new role helps them see how you will be successful.
The job posting is a great source for key words you should intersperse throughout your resume. May recruiters use keyword searches within their online applicant systems to identify the resumes they should review first. Ensure your resume is at the top of their list by being keyword rich.
2. Use Effective Titles
Titles can often be very company specific, don’t leave them guessing what you did. If your title is unclear or doesn’t summarize your responsibilities, use a more generic, industry-accepted title.
Check job boards for title ideas. Also check job postings within the company’s website you are looking to join. Try and use similar nomenclature and titles.
3. Show Growth
Be clear how each position grew your skills and highlight any promotions achieved. Demonstrate how you have grown within a company.
4. Focus on Achievements vs. Responsibilities
Be clear on achievements in the role – things you uniquely achieved. Wherever possible use facts and figures to demonstrate your past professional achievements.
Don’t share proprietary or confidential information when listing facts. 11% of recruiters have declined hiring a candidate as they posted negative comments about a previous employer. Future employers want you to know you respect confidentiality.
Read HERE for other reasons recruiters have declined candidates and social media lockdown tips. It is important that your social media presence backs up your professional resume. Ensure you have a uniform story that reinforces the same messages across platforms.
5. Good Design
Make your resume as easy to read as possible. It needs to make a strong visual impression on the recruiter/hiring manager and also be easily read by an applicant software program.
Bold titles, indicate locations, and right justify all dates. Create clear sections and order those sections based on relevance for the position. Use bullets or short summary sentences for describing achievements.
Looking to make a career shift but have no professional experience in that space but have taken some academic courses? Put education before experience in this case. Think about you can visually demonstrate your aptitude and achievements for the role.
Ensure your resume is error free and grammatically sound.
Writing your own resume is tough! Though I have editing tons of friend’s resumes and look at candidate’s resumes on a daily basis, editing my own was hard. I know what I’m trying to say so it’s difficult to read it with a critical eye. It’s important to have a friend or professional edit your resume to give you subjective advice to achieve the perfect polish.
Even before starting your resume, ask friends or professional colleagues you respect for their resume. This is a great way to see templates and formats that work. Use the best of each of them to build your own paper presence.
How Do You Define Good on Paper?
What have you seen out there that makes a resume stand out above the rest?
What questions do you have about resume writing? How have you edited your resume in the past? What’s worked/not worked for you?